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We need YOU to join us in Gatineau for a crucial CRTC hearing on the future of the Internet

This is our chance to change the state of Canadian broadband Internet, and we are asking our community to join our Campaigns Director, Josh Tabish, at the CRTC hearing this April 28th. Who’s in?

Slow. Expensive. Unreliable. And still completely unavailable across swathes of the country. That’s the TL;DR on the state of Canadian broadband Internet today — and it’s little wonder Canadians are displeased, with a recent EKOS/CRTC survey revealing that only 1 in 3 are happy with the cost of their home Internet.

What’s worse is that urban Canadians paying some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for Internet access actually have it pretty good compared to the swathes of people we’re leaving behind. Many Canadians living in more rural and remote areas simply don’t have any affordable, high-speed Internet options, while over 4 in 10 of our lowest-income families don’t have home Internet due to the cost, according to the CRTC’s own report.

But now we have a big chance to change all that. Right now, the CRTC is reviewing the services that Canadians need to participate in the digital economy, and looking closely at whether and how to ensure all Canadians can access affordable, high-speed Internet.

As part of this review, a public hearing is being held in Gatineau (near Ottawa) until April 28. Our Campaigns Director Josh Tabish will be right there to articulate your concerns in person to the CRTC. At its heart, his message is pretty simple: we just can’t continue leaving so many Canadians behind when it comes to our digital future.

We’ve already worked with top experts to make a detailed written submission, making the case for broadband Internet to be defined as an essential service —  you can check out our 29 pages of crowdsourced policy solutions right here.

But we know from experience just how important these in-person consultations can be. Already it’s clear that CRTC head Jean-Pierre Blais has been moved by what he’s heard from witnesses to date. So it’s going to be super important to ensure the CRTC knows that Josh’s testimony is representing the voices of everyday Canadians.

That’s why we’re asking you, our community, to show up at the CRTC hearings at the Conference Centre, Portage IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau on Thursday, April 28 to show your support.

Now, these hearings tend to be in front of a group of very serious Commissioners, and rarely ever get any public attendance representing the voices of everyday Canadians.

The last time we asked people to show up to one of these, was at the 2014 CRTC Wireline Hearing. Dozens of people attended to offer their support, and gave a round of applause after our presentation, which was not only unprecedented at the CRTC, but made quite an impression on the commissioners in the room. Canadians’ voices were being heard.

This time, we need you to be there with us, in that room, to help us tell the CRTC that 100% of Canadians deserve access to a high quality, world-class communications system.

If we have a large group of supporters in the room, they’ll know our submission asking them to recognize broadband access as an essential service, speaks for tens of thousands of Canadians who’ve spoken out.

So if you’re in the Ottawa area next Thursday April 28, please consider popping across to Gatineau. Josh’s presentation will be between 10am and 1pm ET (we don’t have an exact time — but if we can get a more precise time we’ll be sure to let you know). Drop your name and email in this Google form and we’ll let you know how we can find each other on the day.

And, if you can’t make it in person, fear not: the hearing will be broadcast live in its entirety on the Cable Public Affairs Channel’s (CPAC) website.

To ensure we have an idea of numbers, please let us know if you can turn up to support the Internet next Thursday April 28th by using this Google form.


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